For beer lovers around the world, fall doesn’t start until the Oktoberfest celebrations do. Munich’s centuries-old Oktoberfest is the standard bearer, but there are huge (sometimes surprisingly so) Oktoberfest parties as far away as Brazil, Hong Kong, Namibia, and the United States. At least, there are in a typical year.
Most breweries and event organizers canceled Oktoberfest celebrations near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of both staff and potential festivalgoers. The decision marks one of the rare years with no main festival in Munich. Since the festival started in the early 1800s, it’s only been canceled a handful of times, most recently during World War II.
But just because mass gatherings are unsafe doesn’t mean Oktoberfest is entirely scuttled this year. A few breweries in the US are keeping the celebration alive with virtual activities, Oktoberfest beer releases, and traveling mini-events. Here’s how to still celebrate Oktoberfest in 2020.